The history of tequila is one with many hills and valleys. The spirit began its journey in the public eye as a bad tasting product used solely for the purpose of becoming intoxicated very quickly. However, Ed Brown took this image of tequila in his own hands and followed in the footsteps of Grey Goose to show that it can be enjoyed in more ways than just a shot. Through a switch in marketing tactics and making sure it had a clear presence with certain celebrities, tequila, and Patron in particular grew to be one of if not the most popular spirit in modern social culture. From Chamillionaire to Blondie, Patrón is known to be a favorite vice for the rich and famous.
The tequila itself actually began in the hands of Casa Siete Leguas, one of Mexico’s oldest distilleries. From there the recipe changed hands a few times until it landed at its current home in 1989, and is named for its most popular product, The Patrón Spirits Company.
The distillery uses the very same methods that have been utilized since the dawn of tequila. Because any “tequila” produced outside of the region of Tequila, Mexico can only be called an agave spirit, Patrón is obviously produced in the aforementioned area; the city is called Atontonilco. The process for producing the infamous Patrón tequila begins with the Jimadors (a Mexican farmer who harvest agave) with a tool called a coa. From there, they strip away the exterior to reveal the heart, the piña (if you like piña colaaadas,
and getting caaaught in the rain). After the piñas have been baked in small brick ovens, they are crushed by a two-ton volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill. (Siete Leguas actually uses a horse drawn stone that goes round and round to crush the cooked piñas, Patrón has moved past this practice to a more man made maneuver.) The resulting product is then fermented for three days, distilled, then aged for varying lengths, ranging from two months to seven years.
The tequila we will be discussing today is at the first end of the spectrum. Patrón Reposado is aged approximately nine months in a French oak (Allier) barrel. This particular choice of wood really comes out in the taste, but we will get to that later.
First, as always, is the nose. The smell is truly what one would expect and then some. We are first greeted in that beginning waft with the familiar smell of agave, and then a calming vanilla swirls through. The first impression of this product is very warm and inviting.
The taste itself is where one can really taste that sweet and cooked agave with the woody undertones from the French oak barrel. It is so pleasant and smooth that it took some serious self-control to keep from just downing the glass instead of doing a real tasting. It is truly delicious and is meant to be tasted, not thrown back.